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The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco commemorated the 34th Death Anniversary of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr at the Philippine Folklife Museum on Wednesday, 23 August 2017.

The annual event, named “Friends Meeting Friends, Remembering Ninoy Aquino”, began in 2011 with Post and the Kashiwaharas inviting family and friends for a mass, a short program and reception in honor of the late Senator.  The tradition has continued through the years, with Filipino-American Bay Area residents looking forward to spending time and sharing a meal with one another.

The mass was celebrated by Fr. Mark Reburiano, who reflected in his homily on the life of Senator Aquino, who embodied the teachings of the Gospel in the spirit of laying down one’s life for another.  He added that his death was not without purpose, when he chose to be with his kababayans in those tumultuous times, ignoring the uncertainties that lay ahead.

Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. welcomed friends to the Consulate, saying that the commemoration was an opportunity for us to examine our own journeys as Filipinos, bearing in mind that “[Senator Aquino’s] martyrdom had set forth a series of events that not only changed the Philippines, but other countries as well – from Korea, to Germany and Czechoslovakia.”

It has been the tradition that a guest speaker is invited to share their recollections about the EDSA People Power Revolution. Ms. Alisa Mallari Tu, the daughter of Dr. Ruben Mallari, who was the President of the San Francisco Ninoy Aquino Movement, recalled having the late Senator as a constant guest in their home.  She thanked her parents for fighting for, and instilling in her the desire to speak up and act against injustice and inequality, far as they were from the Homeland.  She added that it was now her generation’s turn to make sure that the next generation will inherit a world that continues to fight for democracy and people’s rights.

Mr. Kashiwahari thanked the Community for allowing his family to honor the memory of his brother-in-law, which was a promise that he and Mrs. Aquino-Kashiwahara had vowed to keep after Senator Aquino’s death.

Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon closed the program by thanking the Community for coming together and connecting with one another and deepening relations among member of the Community.

The event culminated in a reception, with the Community bringing food that was shared among the guests.  END